The fourth release from Vancouver indie pop band Fake Shark, Faux Real, marks a turning point for the long-running group.
While the band’s penchant for catchy, offbeat pop songs remains firmly in tact from prior releases, a revamped lineup and an abbreviated name – they were formerly known as Fake Shark Real Zombie – mark the most significant changes for the group in the time since the 2013 release Liar.
“If you were to listen to the first couple of records and then listen to the new album, it’s a different lineup and an evolving sound. We all felt like it wouldn’t be fair to keep the band’s former name when the group has changed so much,” Fake Shark founding member Kevvy Mental (real name Kevin Maher) says.
Formed in 2005 by Mental and his musical partner Louis Wu, the dynamic vocalist notes the lineup changes that the band has seen in the last couple of years have worked out well for all concerned.
“On stage and off, there is a real easy chemistry among everyone. We all get along well, and everyone is able to tolerate my massive ego,” he deadpans.
Mental shares that heading into the making of Faux Real, the group had upwards of 75 songs in varying states of completion. They completed the making and mixing of a typical full record when, buoyed by the off-the-cuff, casual feel of the album’s first single, “Cheap Thrills,” the group scrapped their album and started the recording process from scratch.
“We were so jazzed by the way that song turned out, we decided it was a path that we wanted to go down,” he says.
Asked if the group was discouraged by the notion of re-making what would eventually become Faux Real, Mental insists it was a positive experience for all concerned.
“In addition to making music, I’ve worked in a producer capacity with a number of acts. I’ve been able to distance myself from the music we make, and not get overly hung up or attached to the songs we write to the point where I am not thinking rationally about what best serves the album. At that point, when you start compromising on the material you feel most passionate about, you aren’t giving your audience what they deserve.”
Carly Rae Jepsen and Vancouver indie artist Louise Burns are just a couple of the artists with whom the singer has worked in a producer capacity. Although he doesn’t play favourites with which role – musician or producer – he likes most, he acknowledges being fortunate enough to be in a position where he is able to consistently draw from both wells of talent.
“As an artist, you can mold and shape songs any way you want, but when I’m working as a producer for others, I’m not thinking about my needs. I have to consider what is going to best serve the artist and the direction they want to take the record,” he says.
“They are two totally different worlds and require two totally different skill sets, but I find both working as a musician and as a producer to be creatively fulfilling.”
What: Fake Shark
When: Thursday June 15, 9 p.m.
Where: Plan b Lounge, 212 St. George St., Moncton